As technology has advanced over the past decade, vaporizers have become an extremely popular choice for medical marijuana patients. Vaporizers help patients access the benefits of medicating in a user-friendly and discreet way.
In Pennsylvania, smoking medical marijuana is prohibited. Instead, the program allows for consumption in the form of pills, oils, vapors, tinctures, and topical applications.
There are various medical marijuana products that patients can vape as well as several different vaporizer technologies. Follow along as we break down what vapes are, how to use them, and their benefits!
What are Vapes?
A vaporizer is a device that heats medical marijuana concentrates or dry flower enough to release its active ingredients (cannabinoids and terpenes) without burning the plant material.
Since the products don’t burn inside vapes, they don’t produce nearly the amount of smoke or odor you would get when smoking. However, high-quality devices should deliver vapor that accentuates a strain’s natural aromas and flavors.
There are two different ways that vaping devices heat plant material: convection and conduction. Convection vaporizers heat the air surrounding the material without directly touching it. On the other hand, conduction vaporizers’ heat source has direct contact with the material.
What Kinds of Vapes are Available?
When looking into vaporizers, you will likely come across three main categories: disposables, cartridges, and dry herb vapes.
Disposable Vape Pens: Disposable vape pens come pre-charged with a single cartridge of medical marijuana concentrate. These devices are intended to be discarded after use, as they are not rechargeable or refillable. Many patients enjoy disposable pens due to their convenience and affordability.
Reusable Vapes and Cartridges: Reusable vapes are composed of two parts: the battery and the cartridge containing the product. Most cartridges have a standard 510-thread port that the battery screws into. Once your cartridge is empty, simply remove it, discard it, and charge your battery. You may then attach a new cartridge for repeated use.
Dry Herb Vapes: For those who prefer flower, patients can purchase a dry herb vaporizer and pack it with their strain of choice. Devices like the PAX are handheld and provide dry herb vaporization on the go.
Similarly, there are other vaporization devices available that are designed to handle a wide variety of different products, including:
Badder/Budder, Sugar, Shatter, Wax, Crumble: Extracted oil classified by the product’s final consistency after extraction. Some concentrates are softer and more “whipped” like a badder/budder, or more solidified like a wax or crumble.
Live Resin: This extract is made from fresh frozen plant material, which gives it a strong flavor and complex terpene profiles.
Distillate: Distillate is a concentrate that’s been stripped of all lipids, fats, and other plant materials. All terpenes and flavonoids are removed, leaving the purest form of the desired cannabinoid.
How Do I Consume Vapes?
Vaping devices are typically very straightforward. Some devices have an on/off button on the side, in which you simply press the button to activate the heat. If you notice that your device doesn’t have a button, the heating will likely begin automatically as soon as you start inhaling.
Keep an eye on the temperature to ensure your cart isn’t burning too hot, as this could affect the product’s chemical components. Some batteries offer a variable heat setting, and some are set to a standard temperature.
What are the benefits?
There are many reasons why patients use vapes as their primary way of consumption:
Less scent: Some people are put off by the pungent, earthy smell of flower. Although vaporizers don’t completely eliminate odors, they do reduce them since the plant material isn’t actually being burned.
Simple to use: Using a vaporizer is a quick and straightforward way to discreetly consume medical marijuana.
Cleaner experience: Because vapes heat plant material at lower temperatures than combustion, many patients report a smoother, cleaner draw, especially when compared to smoking.
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